An Embarrassing Problem

The loss of bladder control can happen to anyone. Here’s what to do about it.

It’s not difficult to imagine the embarrassment and inconvenience of a condition like urinary incontinence (UI). Those whose bladder muscles are too weak must be prepared for leakage and accidents when they sneeze, cough, lift something heavy, or laugh, and those whose muscles are overly active deal with an overpowering urge to urinate, only to dribble when they finally reach a restroom or in some cases don’t get there in time. There are other types of incontinence besides stress and urge incontinence, but all have similar results: accidents.

Since your risk for urinary incontinence increases as you age and twice as many women suffer from the condition than men, you may be wondering what causes UI and what you can do to stop it. Wonder no more, Santa Maria Fit Body Boot Camp has your answers!

It’s a Symptom

It’s helpful to understand that the incontinence isn’t a disease. Rather, it is a symptom of an undiagnosed medical condition, a physical problem, or a daily habit. Some people suffer from occasional leakage while others deal with it daily. Temporary incontinence is usually easily treated and can be caused by a urinary tract infection; constipation; or certain foods, drinks, or medicines that increase urine production and stimulate your bladder. Common offenders include caffeinated drinks, alcohol, carbonated beverages, artificial sweeteners, spicy foods, sugary foods, acidic foods, corn syrup, heart medications, muscle relaxants, and sedatives.

A fitness professional in Santa Maria suggest that more frequent incontinence is often the result of problems with the nerves or muscles surrounding the bladder. Pregnancy, childbirth, hysterectomy, menopause, aging, an enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, obesity, diabetes, and neurological disorders can all lead to persistent incontinence.

Regain Control

Don’t let UI control you. With the right care, you won’t have to worry about accidents and you’ll be able to lead a normal, active life. If you suffer from UI, seek medical attention to determine if an underlying condition is to blame. Treatment will depend on the type of incontinence (stress, urge, or other), the underlying cause, and the severity of the problem.

Treatments are varied and may include behavioral techniques to train your bladder to hold urine longer, to empty itself completely, or to urinate on a schedule that better fits your lifestyle. Your doctor may recommend weight loss, a change in diet, pelvic floor exercises (also called Kegel exercises), or electrical stimulation to help strengthen the muscles that control urination. Medications are also available to calm an overactive bladder, relax bladder muscles, or increase the holding capacity of the bladder.

In the event these don’t work, your physician may recommend more invasive measures, such as injections, wearable devices, or implants that help reduce leakage. When all else fails, surgery is a last resort that allows you to treat the underlying medical condition causing the incontinence.

No one wants to tote around a change of clothes, wear uncomfortable pads, and live with the fear of accidents. And you don’t have to. True, you can’t prevent all cases of UI, but there are ways to lower your risk of dealing with this problem. By maintaining a healthy weight, performing pelvic floor exercises several times a day, limiting your consumption of acidic and caffeinated foods, and eating more high-fiber foods to prevent constipation, you’ll be well on your way to a happy, dry life.

Powerful Pelvis. Want to avoid urine leakage? A personal trainer in Santa Maria says that you should perform Kegels. To do this simple exercise, tighten the muscles in your pelvic floor as if you’re trying to stop your urine flow. Hold for five seconds and relax. Repeat this 10 times, three times a day. Tempting as it may be, don’t practice them while urinating, as this may actually weaken the muscles and increase your risk of a urinary tract infection.

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